My name is Domenico Siciliano and I am the owner of a family-run farm in the municipality of Ciminà, a small village on the Ionian coast of Calabria, whose territory falls within the Aspromonte National Park.
The farm is characterized by the breeding of animals and by the processing of their milk in the family laboratory: 50 cows of Bruna and Pezzata Rossa breeds, 200 sheep of Sardinian origin and chamois goats, almost always grazing, and fed with hay and cereals only in the unfavorable seasons.
The milking of our animals takes place twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, while the processing of milk in our laboratory is done at dawn. We process all the milk that our animals produce with our own hands.
The company’s mission is to make our Caciocavallo di Ciminà known beyond the regional borders, by continuing to respect our animals and our traditions, continuing to transmit the love we put into our work.
The particular name “caccio-cavallo” (literally: cheese-horse) derives from the custom of hanging these cheeses on a wooden horse to let them dry. This also explains the particular shape of the caciocavallo, with the “head” around which the thread was passed.
The Caciocavallo of Ciminà has been produced for centuries, with the milk of the ancient Podolica breed, considered one of the first cattle breeds to be raised in Calabria and of the Bruna and Pezzata Rossa breeds, with the addition in some periods of the year of a small percentage of milk from Sardinian sheep and Aspromonte goats.
The processing is done with traditional methods: the milk is quailed at a temperature of about 40 °, then the broken curd is placed in a container, covered with the whey itself and is left to rise.
We move on to the manual processing of the Caciocavallo in hot water over 80 °. Once the cheese has taken its typical shape, it is passed for a few minutes in cold water and then in brine, where it will remain for a few hours, or a few days, depending on the size. Finally the cheeses are hung in pairs from the head and left to dry.